‘You Have To’ – Why Trent Dilfer Thinks Miami Dolphins Must Extend Tua Tagovailoa

Trent Dilfer, who helped develop Tua Tagovailoa long before he joined the Miami Dolphins, talked about his star pupil at Super Bowl 58's Opening Night.

LAS VEGAS — No one was on the Tua Tagovailoa bandwagon earlier than Trent Dilfer.

Four years before the Miami Dolphins made Tua the fifth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Dilfer knew the lefty from Oahu had the goods.

Trent Dilfer Remains a Big Fan of Miami Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa

Tagovailoa attended Dilfer’s Elite 11 passing academy as a high schooler. And he worked with Dilfer during the pre-draft process after a hip injury ended his college career.

So none of Tagovailoa’s accomplishments as a pro — including leading the league in passing in 2023 — has come as a surprise.

“I thought it was one of the premier talents we’ve ever had,” Dilfer, now the head coach at University of Alabama-Birmingham, told PFN at Super Bowl Opening Night here Monday.

“Trained them to get ready for the draft. That’s when I was really bullish on and people thought I was crazy. But the kid has, he has it, you know, and that’s a hard thing to explain. But he just has a unique feel for the game. He has unique instincts. He’s a great leader, and now it’s starting to show as they surround him with a bunch of talent.”

Dilfer’s instincts were right. So the Dolphins might do well to listen to him again about the future.

Tagovailoa is entering a contract year, and both he and the Dolphins say they believe a long-term deal will get done.

Dilfer’s thoughts?

“You have to [do it]. They’re so hard to find, right? Like there’s so many misses with quarterbacks, and once you find one that you feel like you can finish the race with, then you got to get them signed and committed for the long term.”

Tagovailoa has yet to finish that race. Despite a brilliant regular season, he and the Dolphins’ offense laid an egg in the Wild Card round against the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I think any quarterback faces that deal where you got to know how to win those big games that people expect you to win,” Dilfer said.

KEEP READING: What Tua Tagovailoa Can Learn From Peyton Manning at Pro Bowl

“Every quarterback goes through the doubting of that, and you just keep plugging away and getting better at little things every year and addressing things that got you in trouble in games that you lost.”

As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

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